There is no need for players who betray their country

Published: February 12, 2013

I would never want these three cricketers to ever be seen in Pakistani colours again. PHOTO:REUTERS

The spot fixing scandal which shook the foundations of Pakistan cricket in 2010 has become, as it seems, a never ending nightmare.

Most of us thought it ended after the culprits, Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir were banned by ICC, followed by their conviction and jail sentence by British courts but this scandal continues to make headlines to date.

In a recent blog at The Express Tribune, the blogger appealed for their comeback, his line of reasoning mainly being that our country has exonerated bigger criminals than these three cricketers and that match fixing happens all over the world and it’s not a grave crime.

I cannot speak on the behalf of everybody but as far as I am concerned, I would never want these three cricketers to ever be seen in Pakistani colours again.

The reasons are simple; they were not representing a team in a second degree football league, they were representing their nation at the highest level of cricket. Their ignominious acts not only brought shame to Pakistan, but also disgraced this prestigious game.

It amazes me how can one still advocate the case for these cricketers as never before there were such clear indications and proof that certain parts of the match were orchestrated.

We need to set an example, so if anyone, ever again, has the audacity to even think about selling their nation, they will have to think long and hard before doing so.

A leaf can be taken from USA’s book, where one of the all-time legends of sports, the seventh time tour de France champion and a worldwide icon for his courage to fight cancer; Lance Armstrong was stripped of all his titles over allegations of taking performance enhancing drugs.

Lance had already retired from cycling, allegations against him could have easily been slipped under the rug but an example was made out of him.

As far as Pakistani cricket is concerned, it has moved on despite of the horrors of 2010. Wining the Asia Cup, beating the world number one side and beating India in India demonstrates just that. We have some very good future prospects in Nasir Jamshed, Junaid Khan and Asad Shafiq.

There is no need of the players who betrayed their country for money despite being the highest paid sportsmen.

I know that in a country like Pakistan where from politicians to army generals, everyone is involved in corruption, it might seem unfair but it’s not. In a way I consider them lucky that they haven’t been jailed in Pakistan as the shame they have brought to their fellow countrymen, especially those living overseas is unforgivable.

The embarrassment overseas Pakistanis have faced is unimaginable; I was told by a family member settled in Canada, who is also a devoted Pakistan cricket fan, that every time they stepped out of their house, they had to face embarrassment after this scandal.

We as a nation generally would have to step up against corruption irrespective of its level and this is our chance to show the world, and ourselves, that we can take tough decisions on principles and stick to them.

For once, let’s not make excuses; we surely do not need any more reasons to be embarrassed.

Read more by Naveed here or follow on Twitter @naveed_sid

Naveed Alam Siddiqui

Naveed Alam Siddiqui

A fresh mechanical engineering graduate from NED, Naveed's interests include sports and current affairs. He tweets as @Naveed_Sid

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Queen

    I agree with the author. We should give new talents a chance.
    What if these three cricketers would never have had been caught? Then they would have had carried on their misdeeds. The did not think that when you wear a green shirt of team Pakistan, you represent the entire country. Whatever you do is going to create a big impact on Pakistan’s image.
    Nope, I am not ready to forgive these three players.Recommend

  • kanwal

    Good blog and yes they deserve it. I am sure if a national team level player is caught cheating like this anywhere in the world, they ll be treated harshly which they will deserve. Recommend

  • Ali

    Common sense at last Recommend

  • Ayesha PErvez

    The dude in the first pic from the left? Cool hairstyle.Recommend

  • waqqas iftikhar

    Mr. naveed siddiqui….its interesting that you take that position – what is more interesting is that in jurisprudence, punishments have to fit the crime….the punishment you are suggesting goes way beyond the scope of the crime in the case of mohammad aamer.Recommend

  • Sane

    All these so-called cricketers must be exemplary punished for betraying with the country and tarnished the image of Pakistan. Mere fine of few thousand Rupees and imprisonment of few days does not suffice to the crime they committed.Recommend

  • Asad

    Haha funny to see people of a country where no one pays taxes where the richer you are more corrupt you will be where people from the poorest to the richest is involved in some sort of corruption is asking for strict action against these lad. How about the politicians, lawmakers army generals who betray their country everyday? I believe these guys have been punished enough and should be let back into at least the domestic arena so atleast they can make a living. Recommend

  • Khalid

    I would bring back super talented Amir at any cost, the other two can go to ….Recommend

  • Wah

    Absolutely right but I will give ‘benefit of doubt’ to aamir. Being under 18 years of age I can see him not resisting the captain and fellow bowler. On top of that he admitted what he did and asked for forgiveness.Recommend

  • Waleed Kazmi

    Amir should be brought back. yaar duniya ghalti karti hai, hamara sadar kitni “ghaltiya” karta hai lekin phir se uski party jeet jaati hai. jab unko hazaar baar mauqa mil jaata hai toh unko kiyu nai? khaas torh se Amir ko toh milna chahiye. he’s just a kidRecommend

  • Zabandraz

    Mr.Author I would just like to ask you one question: Are you sure you have never made a mistake did a wrong deed somewhere in life??? If you have then you have no right to suggest their permanent ouster from Pakistan team. Recommend

  • Nadeem

    In the current scenarion, i doubt Reman Malik may annonce Nishan e Pakistan and comeback in the team for all of the three idiots.Recommend

  • Sakina

    really nice blog, nadeem! Recommend

  • Sakina


  • HH

    @Zabandraz – Lame question and a lame effort to justify that corrupts should be brought backRecommend

  • Usman Ilyas

    Okay since everyone has the right to share his opinion, I would also like to say something.Firstly I totally agree with “Zabandraz”. We, as human beings, have done a lot of things which are wrong and shouldn’t be doing. So why can’t we forgive them? It is not just that they have brought shame to our country. There are other cricketers who were involved in match fixing as well. The following link includes a number of excellent players e.g. Cronje, Azharuddin, Gibbs and Samuels.

    Of all these players, Samuels is currently playing for his country and everyone saw that he led his team to their first major trophy after 32 years. He has been welcomed by his country so why can’t we?

    While I didn’t like Salman Butt from day one but I was a fan of both Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. After the scandal, like every Pakistani, I was also utterly disappointed with them. However, with the passage of time I think we should at least give Amir a chance to come back since he openly admitted that what he did was wrong. He was even crying and many of us can tell that those were not fake ones. Yes, he betrayed Pakistan but he also showed enough courage to accept that in front of whole nation. And he did not confess just once but a number of times. He said that he was unfortunately caught in a trap and did not know what to do. He came from a small area so one can understand that fame was also a reason to commit such action. Nevertheless, I believe Amir should be given a chance to return to the team even if not this year but after completing his ban. 5 years away from cricket is enough!

    Well Mr. Neveed Alam: How many times have you admitted that you have done something particularly wrong. Okay, not just the author but I would like to ask everyone reading this blog: How many times have you openly admitted that you have done something wrong or even lied?Recommend

  • Chulbul Pandey

    I agree with the author as far as Asif and Salman are concerned. Both of them don’t seem to have any remorse for their actions. They can learn a thing or two from a younger man – Aamir.

    Mohammad Aamir, on the other hand, does not deserve such a harsh punishment. The dude confessed his wrong doing, broke down in tears after hearing his punishment and genuinely feels sorry for betraying his fans and his country. It was heart breaking to read his story.

    If Aamir can stand up to his action, it’s only fair that we, the fans, accept his apology and allow him to do what he loves to – play Cricket and represent his country.

    I am an Indian Cricket fan and I am completely with our Mr. Wall, Rahul Dravid on this one – Mohd. Aamir deserves another chance.Recommend

  • Muhammad AHMED

    Good Blog ,, Naveed!! Simple but effective points raised !! Recommend

  • Askance View

    I fully endorsed the view point of writer. These culprits have been lucky enough that there have not been any punishments from the Pakistani Government. They definitely betrayed the country and brought embarrassment and shame to the entire nation. There is no excuse as juvenile or lesser crime to anyone other in the nation. This crime and other crimes must be dealt accordingly as per the defined laws of Pakistan.

    If they had been stayed longer in the team, they not only mint more money in the form of bribe but also corrupt the other team mates.

    It is better to have good moral professional rather crook individuals in any field to uplift the entire nation and bring fame to the country. Recommend

  • Dr. Dang

    Why is this being discussed by pakistanis,, when they havent even banned them ?
    ICC has banned these 3 idiots & they wont be back .Recommend

  • Zee

    I agree with the author.
    I am entitled to my opinion and everyone to their opinion.
    However those who support their comback need to come up with a solid argument (with all due respect).
    Couple of things here,
    Yes they have been punished, we should accept them in society but they are not worthy of wearing the Green Cap again.
    Here in the US, a person who is a child molestor, once he serves his time is made sure stays away from things like teaching kindergarten etc. These kind of measures help in not repeating what has been done once.
    I have a simple question, a cashier in a bank, who has comitted some kind of fraud, you wont trust him with your money again, how can you trust your country at the hands of someone who already sold it once?Recommend